Friday, April 27, 2012

Be Realistic

As any writer, I've had my share of rejections. Maybe, even more than my share. The thing I love about it is being able to complain to my friends who reinforce why I'm in the game. They tell me they love my writing, to keep pushing, keep going. Sometimes, it's what I need. Sometimes, their words are air.

Then, sometimes I come across the neigh-sayers. The ones who say, "You're not Stephenie Meyer," "Maybe you're done trying?" and things like that. Most recently, I'd gotten the advice to, "Be realistic. Maybe this just isn't for you."

B*tch, what'd you say?
*This is such an awful picture, lol*
My eyes nearly popped out of my head. Literally. Why?

Firstly, I believe in my writing. I believe in it because in middle school, people would steal my notebooks to read the crap I'd jotted on the sides of my notes. Because in my high school English class, I'd gotten encored after the poetry unit. In my creative writing class, people would fall silent after I'd share. In my other classes people would steal my notebooks that were now only used for poems and rambles. I'd lose the notebook for a couple days while it cycled through friends, and eventually get it back with, "That was really, really good. I liked this one the most."

In college, I got my first publications. At the end of college I started attending my first writing conferences.

And on February 15, 2011, I entered the agent game with a mediocre novel that got a full manuscript request the night of my birthday (which is in April, in case you missed that blog :) ). It got rejected, of course, because well...it sucked (see Confessions of an Immortal Heart. It needs lots, and lots of work). I was told, "I couldn't connect with the characters."

Then I read at my first open mic night, in front of other professionals and friends. And after I finished my set, which I cut short due to fear and feeling like I was suddenly ill equipped, I was asked to come up and read everything else I'd decided not to read.

You gotta take the punches,
And keep rollin'
Now, a little more than a year later, I'm starting to understand the difference between showing and telling more than ever before. There's still a disconnect, and I'm still getting rejected.

And I'm still going.

Why?

Because I'm getting bites, which tell me that my ideas are there, they're marketable, they just aren't being articulated well enough, and that's my fault, because I haven't mastered my craft yet. It doesn't mean that I'm a bad writer, or that I should give up.

I am being realistic. I LOVE the novels I've written; the characters, the plots, the reasons I wrote them. I'm still getting requests, just not acceptances, because there is still work to do.

I won't give up.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you :) If you're in the same rut, I hope you push through, too!

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    2. I am querying at the moment. Not easy, especially with all the waiting we have to do. But today, fantastic news happened to a friend who'd been waiting for a very looong time to get pubbed, and I think it fueled me to stay in the game because the wait is worth it. Even the rejections are worth it. :D So keep pushing forward!

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    3. First of all, I'm so happy to hear about your friend!! That's awesome!

      And I agree, the wait is worth it, and the rejections are worth it, too. Recently I've gotten some stellar feedback which has told me I'm not ready...YET, but I will be... :)

      Good luck in the query game!

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  2. Never stop writing, no matter what. I don't say it enough, but I'm proud of you for continually pushing through rejection and disappointment.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patrick. That means a lot to me.

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  3. Writing is too intangible for some people. You don't get up and go anywhere and clock in or anything like that, so they just can't get it.

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  4. Very nice. I'm glad you continue to push through the disappointment. It's a great story of encouragement. Best of luck to you!

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  5. Love this post. It is just what I needed to hear (read) right now!

    New follower =)

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    Replies
    1. Well thank you for the follow!

      And I'm glad the post helped, I think every writer needs a push every once in awhile :)

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  6. I believe in your story too and can't wait to read it again someday.

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    Replies
    1. whoops. meant to comment on the current post. :)

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Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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